TakeOff! 2021

The Takeoff! 2021 list is 22 great books for children in years 3 and 4 published (paperback) between April 2020 and April 2021.

These books are selected each year by Schools Library Services librarians and aim to cover a diverse  range of authors, subjects and genres.

For new primary fiction for years 5 and 6, see our Must Read booklist!

Posters and Bookmarks for the 2021 booklists will be delivered soon to subscribing schools!

Click to view the books!
Max Against Extinction Tim Allman Max is back and he’s on a mission to save the Bramble Field from being torn up, ripped out and replaced with a boring old office block. But first he’s got to try and get his school and head teacher Mr Costive on his side… ‘Trees and newts, not desks and suits!’
Stick and Fetch Off the Leash Philip Ardagh Together, Sally and her dog are Stick and Fetch: Detectives. Even on holiday there are plenty of crimes to solve and mysteries to unravel. Such as, who is Major Mayhem? Why is that door frightened? And where could the small-bottle-of-shampoo robbers be hiding?  This is the third story about Sally Stick and her dog Fetch.
Too Small Tola and the Three Fine Girls Atinuke Clever Tola may be small but she is mighty! Stories of precious gold earrings, busy big brothers and sisters, strict Grandmummy’s and selling groundnuts.. and Tola’s the star in all!
Skeleton Keys: The Haunting of Luna Moon Guy Bass Skeleton Keys has fantabulant fingers which open doors to hidden worlds. This is the strange tale of Luna Moon, whose family is disappearing before her very eyes – she is convinced her grandfather has come back to haunt the family, and Skeleton needs to get to the bottom of the mystery before the whole family is gone.
Agents of the Wild 2: Operation Icebeak Jennifer Bell Why are the Adelie penguins in the Antarctic behaving so bizarrely? And what is causing earth tremors there? And why are their TV crews in the icefields? This is a new case for Agnes and Attie – agents of SPEARS, the society for the protection of endangered and awesomely rare species!
Agent Asha: Mission Shark Bytes Sophie Deen Asha Joshi is a coder, so she’s the perfect person for the top-secret Children’s Spy Agency to send to hack into the biggest tech company in the world, fight deadly sharks and figure out why the Internet has stopped working.
Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere Elise Gravel When Olga, animal-scientist-in-training, finds a pink, hairy creature living in her rubbish bin, it’s a dream come true – it’s a weird new species!  It looks like a cross between a hamster and a potato, smells terrible and says only the word MEH! And it’s the perfect subject for Olga’s very scientific Observation Notebook
Kitty and the Treetop Chase Paula Harrison What do a girl who can talk to animals and a boy who can talk to birds do when they find trouble? They try and solve it of course! Kitty and Ozzy must work together to solve the mystery of the Bakery Dog and the Missing Collar, but they’d better finish before morning!
Fish Kid and the Lizard Ninja Kylie Howarth You’d have thought eating slimy sea cucumbers and jellyfish would make you ill, but it’s given Bodhi some amazing new powers… but what is this animal climbing up his wetsuit?  Can it really be a Lizard Ninja? And can the two of them save the oceans?
The Monster Doctor John Kelly It’s not every day that someone’s arm falls off in the street in front of you. Even weirder when they turn out to be just a little bit dead. Luckily, there’s a monster doctor just round the corner! And apparently she wants new boy Ozzy to be her new trainee Monster Nurse…
Good Knight, Bad Knight and the Flying Machine Tom Knight After a small incident with some exploding barrels of poo, twins Warrick and Willow ask Good Knight Godwin and Bad Knight Berk to help them build a flying machine. Little do they know how quickly they (and their village, and a forlorn chicken called Lettuce) will need it when some cheese-munching barbarians invade…
Theodora Hendrix and the Monstrous League of Monsters Jordan Kopy The first rule of the Monstrous League of Monsters is to keep hidden from humans – a rule that orphaned Theodora usually has no trouble with, But now a series of anonymous letters suggest that someone is about to reveal their secret. If Theodora doesn’t act fast, she may lose her family for ever…
Willow Wildthing and the Swamp Monster Gill Lewis Something amazing happens in the woodland behind Willow’s house –  she enters The Wilderness, where magic and nature collide and children take on the characteristics of the wild creatures they are named after. But there are shadows, and secrets, and … MONSTERS!
The Secret Time Machine and the Gherkin Switcheroo Simone Lia A worm and a bird are the most unlikely of friends – but now Marcus is in trouble. He didn’t think his friend Laurence would actually believe him when he said his super brainy aunt built a time machine. After all, he only boasting to win a silly argument.  Now how on earth will he make it come true?
Anisha, Accidental Detective: school’s cancelled Serena Patel Everyone thinks it’s Anisha’s fault that her fantastic volcano project explodes and floods the school and gets her disqualified from chance to win a prize trip to the national space centre.  Can Anisha, her best friend Milo, a pet rat, and a high-school vlogger catch the real culprit?
Attack of the Heebie Jeebies Tom Percival It’s no good going to bed angry – you just get bad dreams and for Erika, the bad dreams mean being attacked by a mob of hungry Heebie Jeebies and being hunted by a terrifying Angermare! But can Dream Team help Erika overcome her worries and get home, or will she be trapped forever?
Sona Sharma, Very Best Big Sister Chitra Soundar Sona’s house is full of people who joke often and argue sometimes. Relatives come unannouncedand friends drop in all the time. Then one day Amma tells Sona she is going to have a baby. Is that good? Sona isn’t sure – she has always enjoyed being an only child. When Sona learns that there will be a baby naming ceremony, she is determined to find the perfect name for her new brother or sister.
Scribble Witch: notes in class Inky Willis When Molly finds Notes, a tiny paper witch, lurking in her pen pot, school is never the same again – but some of the things Notes does are absolutely NOT helpful and get Molly into trouble…
Last : The Story of a white Rhino Nicola Davies What’s it feel like to be an animal in the zoo? What does it feel like to be the very last one of your kind in a zoo? This is the real story of Sudan, the very last male Northern White Rhino in the world.
Johnny ball accidental football genius Matt Oldfield Johnny Ball LOVES football and everything to do with football, but he’s not quite good enough to make the Tissbury Primary School team for the super-huge Under-11s County Cup. But best friend Tabia manages to get him made into Assistant Manager, so can Johnny lead the Tissbury Primary team all the way to County Cup glory?
Little Badman and the Time-travelling Teacher of Doom Humza Arshad Humza Khan has faced deadly alien slugs, killer aunties and double maths, but now he has to face something even scarier – his dad! He’s pretty fed up with Humza and Umer being naughty, so he’s sending them away . . . to school… in Pakistan.  But when they get there, something weird is going on – someone has been messing with time!
Boy in the jam jar Joyce Dunbar Dylan loves football, space and his dog Pluto, but the sounds he hears are getting faint and other children are starting to make fun of him. But he doesn’t want hearing aids – they’re for old people…

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